Family of Kiss driver ‘hurt’ after suspect released

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

The Solomon Hochoy Highway. – File photo by Ayanna Kinsale

THE family of Kiss delivery driver Neil Ballai, 55, who was killed in a crash along the Solomon Hochoy Highway on March 28, say they are hurt and disappointed over the news that the main suspect in his death has been released from police custody.

The crash happened at around 6.45 am on the southbound lane of the highway near the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva. Dash cam footage showed a black Hyundai Ioniq car hit Ballai’s truck from behind, causing the delivery truck to veer off the road and crash.

Ballai died on the spot and his co-worker Terrence Jagessar, 34, who was in the passenger seat, was injured. The car did not stop and was found about 12 hours later in Preysal.

The suspect, a 30-year-old member of the TT Regiment, subsequently surrendered to the Freeport police station but was released on April 2, without charge, pending further investigations.

One of Ballai’s relatives, speaking with reporters outside the Forensic Science Centre in St James on Wednesday, said what hurt the most was the driver’s failure to stop and help Ballai.

“You called no one for help. You said nothing. You left our relative there to die… like a dog. You left someone else there too. If you had stopped, maybe you could have rendered some assistance, some kind of assistance. But that didn’t happen.”

She said the family is hoping justice will still prevail. “Let’s just hope that the truth unfolds. We have the dash cam footage. You know, he can say what he wants, but he will have to live with what he did…if he actually did it.”

The family thanked the public for their help and in particular, the person who shared the dash cam footage of the accident, over social media.

“We appreciate that the dash cam footage was shared because that is what’s helping to bring this person to justice or make them turn themselves in.

“We appreciate that and we thank the public for the support that we have been receiving. And to the person whose dash cam it was, we would like to thank them personally.”